Carnatic Recommendation – 4

This week’s Carnatic Recommendation is one of the Trinity – Muthuswami Dikshitar’s, “Swaminatha Paripalayasumam”.

Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775 – 1835) is famous for his compositions in Samskrit. His compositions on Sri Ganesha and Kamalamba. A brief about Muthuswami Dikshitar from Wiki:

Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvarur (of Thanjavur district in what is now the state of Tamil Nadu) to a Tamil Iyer Brahmin couple Ramaswami Dikshitar and Subbamma, as the eldest son. According to the account of Subbarama Dikshitar, Muttuswami Dikshitar was born in the manmatha year, in the month of Panguni under the asterism Krittikaa. He was named after the temple deity, Muttukumaraswamy; legend has it that he was born after his parents prayed for a child in the temple of Vaitheeswaran Temple. He also had two younger brothers Baluswami, Chinnaswami and a sister Balambal.

In keeping with the Brahminic educational tradition, Muthuswami learnt the Sanskrit language, Vedas, and other important religious texts. He also obtained his preliminary musical education from his father.

While he was still in his teens, his father sent him on a pilgrimage with a wandering monk named Chidambaranatha Yogi, to gain musical and philosophical knowledge. Over the course of this pilgrimage, he visited many places in North India, and acquired a broad outlook that is reflected in many of his compositions. During their stay in Kashi (Varanasi), his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi, presented Dikshitar with a unique Veena, and died shortly thereafter. The samādhi of Chidambaranatha Yogi can still be seen in the Hanuman Ghat area in Varanasi. [Taken from Wikipedia]

Muthuswami Dikshitar is known to have embedded Violin into Carnatic ensemble. His skill with Samskrit is very well known. His music is mostly centered around Shakti and Shakta bhakti. His compositions on Sri Ganesha and Sri Kamalaba are widely performed and regarded as heights of bhakti. His signature “Guru Guha” is trademark – probably something like a copy protection mechanism embedded within all his kritis.

It is believed that his Veena was given by Goddess Saraswati herself to him with “Sri Rama” inscribed on it.

Listen to this performance of “Swamintha Paripalayashumam” by Ranajani – Gayatri

My fav line:

Vamadeva Parvati sukumara parijata sammohitakara

This composition is a tribute to Sri Shanmuga or Sri Subramanya

Another brilliant line:

Bhumijalaagni vaayugaganakirana bhodharupa nithyaananda karana

Complete lyrics, meaning and some technical details can be found here.

Heres another performance of the same kriti by Shruti Subramaniam

Also there is a beautiful M D Ramanathan’s version of this beautiful composition

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